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graduates, students, public policy

National Conference 2017

Pablo Fernandez and Olive Frost reflect on this year's conference

Pablo says, 'Since 2011 the National Conference has been the highlight of my year in CMF. Each year it has been a great encouragement and 2017 did not disappoint. With the current format designed to include all sectors of the Fellowship, it was fantastic to see older members mixing with students, nurses with consultants and parents with young children being able to enjoy the sessions and seminars, while the excellent children's programme looked after them.

'The Bible talks around the Lord's Prayer left us all in equal parts comforted and challenged, as Richard Coekin took us through what it means to speak to God as our Father. Feedback on the conference showed how much attendees had appreciated these studies, as well as the extensive seminar programme. A particular highlight for me? Having my daughter and her family there and seeing all enjoy the conference. See you there in 2018!'
Olive Frost first came to a CMF conference in 1963. She told CMF News, 'I enjoy the all age fellowship with little ones looking remarkably like people I know running round. I enjoy chats with younger people, which now of course include the middle agers. And it's good to see others who have been coming for years. The Bible Readings are always good (even if they never start on time) and the seminars of good value…
'This year's CMF report showed what can be done! So the likelihood is that I will turn up again!'

BMA vote 'defies common sense' says CMF

The recent vote to support abortion on demand (27 June) 'defies common sense and the BMA will dismay thousands of ordinary doctors and nurses', CMF CEO Peter Saunders has declared. 'Should Parliament bring forward legislation on a similar basis we would be only the third country in the world after China and Canada to remove all safeguards to unborn children.'

He said the BMA does not have support from the general public. A recent ComRes survey found that only one percent of women wanted to see the time limit for abortion extended above 24 weeks. Seven in ten (70 percent) wanted to see the abortion time limit reduced to 20 weeks or below. 91 percent wanted a total ban on sex-selective abortion.

Several CMF members were visible in the BMA ARM debate opposing the motion. Rachael Pickering warned that the motion 'did not come from a groundswell of opinion among BMA members' but from 'a very small minority of extreme campaigners.' Melody Redman, a junior doctor, said, 'law has an important role in safeguarding and protecting the vulnerable.'

The Hippocratic Oath forbids abortion and ironically the BMA in 1947 called abortion 'the greatest crime'. Abortion is still illegal in Britain but the Abortion Act 1967 allows doctors to perform it on grounds of mental or physical health. This law is openly flouted. With one in five pregnancies now ending in abortion and 8.5 million abortions since 1967 doctors have now sadly become its most ardent promoters and facilitators.

Going Deep:ER

Joanna Obire reflects a year on

Deep:ER, CMF's volunteer programme for medical students and juniors, has just finished a second year and is enrolling participants for 2017-18. Joanna, Deep:ER volunteer this year, says: 'I can honestly say I have received so much more than what I have given. I thank God for the opportunity. I'd encourage anyone who is undecided about it to give it a shot.

'From our first team day away the year involved a lot of exciting adventures. Everything from creating advertisements and creative props to a trip to L'Abri where the accent was apologetics and jam making.

'Without doubt the highlight for me was organising the Sydenham Conference, leadership training for students from around the world. Many of them were from places where student groups are small and struggling. I worked alongside Chris Borges Da Silva and other members of the Deep:ER team. It was a truly blessed time. Many of the students who came still stay in touch,sharing how they are using skills they learned at the conference, in their lives and ministries. It's really satisfying to have a part in this.

'Looking back I sense I have grown in confidence over the year. I've learnt basic office skills, like how to set up and send emails via mail merge. I've learnt new ways to share my faith. I led CMF staff morning prayers and benefited from the Deep:ER weekly teaching programme.

'At the start of the year I tended to see my faith and medicine as two separate entities. Deep:ER has helped me begin to better integrate the two - living and speaking for Jesus while I study and work to give him the utmost glory. Even in learning office skills I've been able to find joy and satisfaction, knowing that even the smallest things we do are done for Christ and that what I do helps others.

'Deep:ER was without doubt the highlight of my intercalating year. I truly recommend it.'
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